For Newton-based general contractor David Cohen, owner and principal of Hampden Design + Construction, every project is a labor of love. Priding himself on being a great listener to his clients and their home, David provides respect, hard work, and open communication throughout the design and construction process.

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As one might expect, 'home' has recently taken on a whole new meaning, and building, adding-on, or renovating became a major priority to many. While beautiful kitchens, master bedroom suites, and family room additions/renovations have always been popular, the design and construction industry saw other trends emerge as a result of the conditions we all lived under this past year.

Extending the indoors into the outdoors and creating a comfortable outdoor living space to enjoy year-round has seen a noticeable increase in demand. Patios, hot tubs, pools, and ample seating areas surrounding a fire pit have been some of the most common requests.

In one of Hamdpen’s recent patio project, a client requested a seated wall surrounding to provide enough space for guests to socially distance themselves. Hampden also added outdoor speakers, a 65-inch television (inside a waterproof plastic box to protect from inclement weather), and heating elements. By essentially building a family room outside, the homeowners can now enjoy the beauty and safety of the outdoors year-round.

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Home office spaces have also become a necessity rather than an afterthought. Homeowners have gotten a lot more creative with multi-functional spaces, giving new life to once-neglected areas (garages, basements, etc.).

Hampden recently completed a guest bedroom renovation in an apartment remodel, which needed to double as a home office. To achieve this, custom storage, with a built-in Murphy bed, was created on one wall – giving the homeowners plenty of space for a home office for their daily needs while also having plenty of room for guests.

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Homeowners are also looking for ways to improve their spaces without compromising the existing space, making the final result look like it was there from the beginning.

Hampden recently completed a modern kitchen renovation to an otherwise traditional home. The challenge of this project was to make a kitchen feel new, more spacious, and completely different, but to work within the home's footprint. To open the space and create better flow, David and his team removed walls that encroached the area. This same space also held a door leading into the basement. By restructuring the stairs from the landing above, instead of below, Hampden removed those walls and repositioned the basement door, creating an open floor plan. The home itself has a very heavy wood feel, so by incorporating warm woods and a few modern touches into the design, the space integrates seamlessly into the rest of the home.

It is no surprise that the events of the past year have caused major shifts in how one thinks about improving their home. While the industry is dealing with the impact of supply chain delays and fluctuating lumber prices, Hampden believes managing clients’ expectations are key to a successful project outcome. “We are always honest from the get-go that because of the pandemic, there may be delays,” states David. “But a good builder will work with their client to ensure any home renovation or new build project runs as smoothly as possible, and within the budget allocated.” Transparency and clear communication are just a couple of reasons why Hampden Design + Construction continues to be one of the most sought after residential contractors in the Greater Boston area.